One of the challenges I've given myself this year is to produce 23 videos that I am really, truly proud of. Though my job is super fast paced this summer, I hope this will help me take some of my shooting and editing skills to the next level. Practice makes perfect...right?
I'm currently working as a Social Media Coordinator for the National Student Leadership Conference. This job has me producing both video and photo content daily, tweeting from the site's account, maintaining the site blog, and helping out elsewhere when needed. I'm at Rice University now, and will be here through mid-July before moving to Washington D.C. to work at the Georgetown University site.
(Of course, after all of this is over in August, I'm moving to Germany – hopefully by then my packing skills will be even closer to rivaling my mother's!)
Anyway... one of my main jobs here is to produce videos. I started with staff introductions – short clips featuring the members of each staff (here at Rice, that means Engineering, Mastering Leadership, and Medicine & Health Care). Though I'm pretty happy with all of the intros I produced, this spoof of the F•R•I•E•N•D•S title credits is something I am quite proud of:
Every day, I see students inspired by those around them (see my last post for some soppiness on this topic). They are learning not only what it might be like to be a surgeon or an engineer, but what it means to be a leader in their own lives. When I talk to them at mealtimes, between activities, or for interviews, I can really see the excitement in their eyes when we latch onto a topic that sparks their interest. Lives are being changed here, people.
Last Saturday night while I was taking pictures of the students dissecting cow eyes and standing way off to the side, one girl waved a gloved hand and called out to me:
"Oh my gosh, you have to see this! Look at how cool it is!"
A few seconds later, I found myself face to face with what I think was part of a cornea. I don't know the parts of the eye though, so I could be totally wrong. But the excitement in this student's voice was what got me excited too, regardless of the fact that I personally find dissection rather disgusting (definitely not my thing, very glad I didn't go into medicine). I am so fortunate to be so involved in an organization that is inspiring students left and right. The inspiration is contagious – and it makes me want to continue to improve these videos.
Something that may (or may not) be totally obvious about my job is that I am constantly producing content. I mean it. I have hundreds of gigabytes of video footage and photos stored so far from just the first session. Part of this derives from the fact that, as a new site location, we don't have any content to use for promotions for next year's workshops, and part of it derives from the fact that I have a somewhat obsessive need to capture everything. As such, I'll sometimes go to... odd... lengths for my job.
Case in point: I spent about an hour and a half swimming around in a pool while Engineering students collected golf, tennis, and ping pong balls with robots that they built in their time here at NSLC. I'm sharing this video not because I'm super proud of it, but because I can point out a dozen or so things that I want to do better next week (because trust me, I am definitely getting back in the pool next week). Among my chief concerns with improving the video below is figuring out a way to get the underwater GoPro footage to be steady without having to just hold the GoPro on the bottom of the pool (though I will do that too). I have a stabilizer for it, which I haven't used a lot here at NSLC yet, but it is definitely not waterproof. Unfortunately, we don't get to use the Rice University Recreation Center while we're here (boo!) so anything I want to try will have to happen on the day of next session's Sea Perch competition. What else do you think I can improve with this video? Tell me in the comments!
I've alluded before to the fact that working for the NSLC inspires me every single day... and really, no day is an exception. Most of the students who come here start off shy and nervous, but by the end are totally comfortable around each other. They've all grown. The staff, who were strangers to me two weeks ago, are now some of the coolest people in my life. Together, we keep this whole thing going. Their energy (and the ability to give 110% for 10 days straight) is wildly impressive and makes me wish I was in their TA groups! The Mastering Leadership students, though they were only here for six days, are some of my favorite kids. They have totally transformed in such a short amount of time, and are really passionate about going out and doing amazing things for the world, starting in their home communities.
Yesterday, the #NSLCMAST students volunteered at Rise Against Hunger, an organization dedicated to "end[ing] hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources." Not only am I proud of them for the 3,000 meals that they packaged to send to Nicaragua, but I'm so proud of how far they've come and how aware they are of where they stand in the world and how much difference they can all make. The packaging session didn't feel like work – we were all dancing around and having a good time (as evidenced by the "We're All In This Together" from High School Musical that may be audible in the background of one of the interviews). This video was super fun to produce, and even though I (as usual) have ideas for how to make next week's group's video better, I am happy with how this turned out.
That's it for now... This little update with my internship is pretty set, and my goal of producing high quality videos is still intact. If you have any recommendations for my videos (or for royalty free music sources...) please leave them in the comments! If you want to stalk the #NSLCinHouston blog or find more videos produced by yours truly, visit www.rice.nslcleaders.org.
Happy de-reg day to any NSLC-ers who are reading this, and let's all get some sleep.